On getting offended by strangers…

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So at this point in my life I am pregnant with my second child, about 7mths along. Contrary to my first, this baby is growing well [too well…?!] and I am subsequently much bigger than I was first time around.  In fact, the medical professionals think this baby [I have nicknamed him Boofa] is already larger than my daughter was at birth. And I still have 8 weeks cooking time. Yep, EIGHT. Sooooo … fun times.

Anyway, this means that I am constantly subject to comments from everyone about the size of my incubator.  Usually, the convo runs like this:
“Wow, look at you! How long have you got to go?”
“Still another 8 weeks,” said with a smile, often apologetic, though I have no idea why.
Oh. Ooohhhhh.” Slight look of fear crosses their face at this stage, followed by a “Wow”, or an encouraging “It looks hopeless but you’ll be OK!” kind of facial expression.

Sometimes though, I get comments that go a step further, from family members arguing with me that I can’t be 100% certain there is only one baby despite multiple scans [“Scans can be wrong, you know!” – “Yes, maybe in 1980, but these days quite unlikely considering I’ve had at least 6.”] to absolute strangers making fairly strong observations: “You look like your baby is going to fall out!”

I won’t say I never feel annoyed or want to say “Thank you, Captain Obvious,”, or that I am not myself sometimes concerned by the truly impressive size of my incubator, but if you go along with 90% of the internet articles, I must be HORRIBLY OFFENDED at all these people for MAKING COMMENTS on MY body.  For SPEAKING TO ME about something as PERSONAL as the size of my belly when they are clearly NOT ME or MY HUSBAND.

And the truth is, I’m not.  I don’t find it at all offensive that I have a large belly or that I’m growing a big baby this time….so why would I find it offensive that others also don’t mind it? No-one has said to me, “Ermahgawd, that stomach is DISGUSTING, you should be ASHAMED!” or anything of the like.  Pregnant women touch a chord with most people – remind us that life is an incredible miracle and often make us feel nostalgic, awe inspired, clucky, protective, happy…. a range of positive emotions – and people want to express that to me in their own special way.  Why would that offend me?

I am sure I would get offended if someone launched a personal attack at me, made assumptions about me, my lifestyle etc., and told me off for the crime they’ve decided I’m committing [say, told me I should be ashamed to be obviously eating so much shit so as to put on heaps of weight and endanger the health of my unborn child].  And that would be justified. But getting offended just because people make an observation, start a conversation, offer a compliment?   Come on people.  I find it sweet, sometimes a bit annoying, sometimes [like the ‘fall out’ comment] downright funny.

Aren’t there things in this world more important to be offended about? Greater atrocities? While so many peeps out there worry about and blog about *gasp* being asked if their twins are identical, or getting comments like “Wow, you’re quite big aren’t you!”, real, horrendous and actually important atrocities are being perpetrated every day.  Why isn’t the internet ‘breaking’ about those??

Haven’t we perhaps taken our new trend of being fiercely defensive of our right to have our own opinion go unchallenged so far as to now expect others not to express an opinion at all?  Are we so determined to be ‘politically correct’ at all times, and expect other to be as well, that we can no longer say anything because everything can be offensive to someone?  Or is it that some of us [read: a LOT of us] are so keen to secure five minutes of blogger fame that we will spew righteous indignation about genuinely innocent if somewhat blunt communication from friends, family or strangers….?

And then, these blogs are read by thousands who then think, “hey yeh, how DARE a person express an opinion or make an observation about me that isn’t exactly the same is mine?” and this then becomes their mindset.  And suddenly people stop talking to one another and the only communication that remains is via internet commentary where you may still offend but can retain anonymity. How sad is that for humankind?

So next time someone asks you something and it triggers a memory of a blog you read and you think ‘How dare they ask me that/make that innocent comment!’, take a step back, ask yourself if it really actually fucking matters and then get over yourself and ask the question again. 90% of the time I guarantee it doesn’t and you should just shrug it off and go find something real to worry about and fight for.  I’m not saying don’t be annoyed – but don’t forget that the intent was innocent and well intended.

And if it IS one of those 10% of comments or questions that is actually genuinely offensive, cause they certainly DO happen, and they suck – then just look at the person with pity and move on, because THAT person is not even worth your ire and their opinion is not worth the shit on the bottom of your shoe. Life is too short.

America’s Toddler Murders

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Courtesy of http://www.scarymommy.com

I am so angry right now I have tears in my eyes. A four year old boy just shot his “loving momma” in the back, with her gun, as she drove the car.

She is going to live. She’s lucky. She’s luckier still that her little 4 year old boy shot her and not himself.

I live in Australia and I am just aghast at the fact that America is so hell bent on protecting their “right to bear arms” that they are happy to murder toddlers to do so.

1. Your right to bear arms is a bastardised twist on a law that was hurriedly enacted during the Civil War and was never intended to arm every man, woman and CHILD in your nation, if my information is correct.
2. I continually hear arguments from the pro-gun lobby that it’s not RESPONSIBLE gun owners who are the problem so don’t penalise the RESPONSIBLE gun owners for the actions of the criminals….except here’s the thing. This woman is your poster child “responsible” gun owner darling. How fucking responsible is it to leave a loaded gun within reach of a four year old child? The kid is familiar enough with guns to point and shoot successfully but no four year old has enough comprehension of consequence to be safe. May I remind you that it wasn’t a criminal that shot this woman? It was a four year old child.
3. America’s prolific gun ownership and use has not made your country safer for anyone.  Not for you, not for your wife and sure as shit not for your children. Your gun crime rates are through the roof. You have toddler murderers. You have continuous multiple school shootings.  At what point will you gun lobbyists put the welfare of your children, the lives of your children, before your own egos?? Your attitude is so incredibly fucking selfish and whether you admit it or not your stance is all about YOU.

So – cuddle your hard, cold, deadly guns close, America. Continue to bury your children because you are too selfish to admit you are wrong. I pity you but I am heartbroken for your innocent children.

And to all the Americans who are trying so hard to enact change and protect your kids – I wish you luck and fortitude and just know that you can always try immigrating to Australia where we value the lives of our kids more than our own egos and ‘likes’ on Facebook.

I’m still ok, right?

Well last night was a new ‘low’ for me. The child picked at her pasta – the same pasta she had scoffed the night before – and ate really nothing but her bean mix (you know that four bean mix you can buy?). Then we went outside to lock up chooks and ended up chatting over the fence to neighbours and motorbike riding for 20 minutes. Get back inside and the child is obviously still hungry…I look at the time and consider the effort of another meal + time eating + cleanup ….and I offer her milk. She doesn’t have milk often … the older she gets the less she wants it … but last night she was def keen – cause she was still hungry! So she slammed down 2 small cups of milk and went to bed happy and I got out of doing dinner round 2 and the world was bright and shiny… until mummy guilt kicks in anyway. Sigh.
She survived. It’s not something I’d do or recommend others do on a regular basis, but as a once off, it’s OK….right???

x S